La ville lumière—“the City of Light”: Paris earned this nickname during the 19th century with the proliferation of gas lamps that lit up the French capital, turning night into day and boosting its economic vitality. Moreover, the radiance of the metropolis transcended the glow of its streetlights as Paris ascended to its role as the cultural capital of Europe. Authors, composers, and especially visual artists—painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers—thrived in this dazzling setting.
Impressionist Paris: City of Light explores various aspects of life in and around the city in which these artists came of age. Visitors to the exhibition are transported to Impressionist Paris as represented in over 180 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and illustrated books from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and several distinguished private collections. The exhibition is on view at the Legion of Honor concurrent with Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay at the de Young Museum.